The front door burst open and Sanji and Alex ran into the kitchen with smiles on their faces. Sanji said, “Mom, we’re home!”
Amanda, the boys’ mother, turned with a frown on her face. “Did anything happen at school today that you boys want to tell me about?”
Alex’s eyes opened wide, and he shook his head. “Not really, we just got a lot of homework, and we should go get started on it right away!”
The boys started running toward the stairs, and Amanda crossed her arms and shouted, “Hold it!” The boys flinched and stopped after only making it halfway across the kitchen. “I got a call from the school telling me that the two of you have a detention later this week because you were disrupting the class. Care to tell me what that was all about?”
Sanji swallowed before replying, “We were studying photosynthesis today in class, and Mrs. Rothum asked if anyone knew what it was, and how it worked.”
Alex nodded his head. “That’s right, Sanji and I just took turns explaining how the process worked. She asked us to stop in mid explanation; what good would it have done anyone if we hadn’t given a complete explanation?”
Amanda shook her head. “What am I going to do with you boys? Go to your room until your father gets home. And no books!”
Outrage filled Sanji’s face. “No books! What are we supposed to do?”
Amanda put her fists on her hips. “You are being punished for misbehaving, and I can’t think of any better way to do that than to take away your books. Now up those stairs, the both of you! And leave your backpacks down here!” Sanji and Alex dropped their backpacks onto the ground and slowly made their way up the stairs.
Alex turned on the stairs and looked at Amanda with tears streaming from his eyes. “I’m sorry, mommy, can’t I please take one book with me?”
Amanda’s breath caught in her throat, and she almost gave in. It was so difficult to stay mad at that cute face, but she shook her head. “No; now get up into your room before it’s no books for a week!” Alex grunted and hurried up the stairs. Amanda sighed. She was so proud of her sons and how smart they were, especially for a seven and an eight year old. She and Alfred had already gotten the school to allow the boys into the fifth grade, but that still didn’t seem to be enough of a challenge for them. Maybe they could talk with the school and get them to a grade that would actually challenge them. Maybe high school?
Amanda turned back to the vegetables she was cutting up, and started to chop through them. Alfred would be home in a couple of hours, and she wanted the delicious aroma of her chicken and rice soup to be the first thing to greet him.
Sanji sat on his bed with his head against the wall staring at the clock. Alex sat next to him with a frown on his face. “Why are we getting in trouble for this? The teacher wasn’t giving a good explanation about photosynthesis; we were just trying to help make sure our classmates were getting a proper education.”
Sanji nodded his head. “Yeah, saying that “it’s the process of plants converting sunlight into food” isn’t going to help anyone! If you want to make it worthwhile to even bring it up, you have to discuss the chemical changes and the function of chlorophyll at least!”
Alex smiled. “If they aren’t going to teach us anything useful, we might as well be working at the labs with Dad and Grandpa. At least there we could be doing some good!”
Sanji turned his head to the side thoughtfully and responded, “You’re right! We could be working on discovering advances that will help make this world a better place instead of talking about the different type of clouds. Maybe we could talk Mom into letting us be home schooled instead. If we got to pick what we studied, at least our education would be beneficial to us.”
Alex sighed. “You know that she would never go for that. If we were home schooled, she would want to teach us. That would be worse than learning from the teachers we have now.”
Sanji slowly nodded his head. “Yeah, you’re right. I feel bad for Mom. It must be difficult for her having such brilliant children.”
Alex shrugged. “Maybe if we did something to impress Dad, he would let us drop out of school and come work with him. Something that would really help people, like a formula to promote hair growth? That should be manageable.”
Sanji smiled as he pulled out a sheet of paper and a pencil. “That’s a great idea, Alex! Dad will be so impressed with us, he won’t be able to say no to us working with him!” Sanji started writing down the elements found in a strand of hair.
Alex looked over the sheet as Sanji began calculations for the formula. He pointed at a one of his numbers and said, “No, that should be a seven!”
Sanji scribbled it out and put a seven by it. He looked at Alex. “If we’re going to get this right, we’re going to need more paper!” Alex ran around the room looking for every blank scrap of paper that he could get his hands on, all the while shouting out suggestions and ideas for the formula. It didn’t take long for them to fill every sheet of paper that could be found.
Amanda walked up the stairs towards the boys room. They had been up there for almost two hours, and she hadn’t heard a peep from the two of them in that entire time. That wasn’t normal; they should have complained about not having any books by now, and more than once. They were definitely up to something. She pushed their bedroom door open. “Boys, what’s going on up here?” Her eyes almost popped out of her head once she looked inside of their room and saw the two of them scribbling numbers and letters onto the walls. “Boys! What do you think you are doing? You know better than to draw on the walls!”
Panic filled Sanji’s face as he turned to face his mother. “We can explain! You see, Alex and I wanted to try and convince Dad to let us work with him at the labs, but if we were going to do that we had to do something to impress him!”
Alex nodded his head. “That’s right, we started coming up with a formula to help bald people grow hair again.”
Amanda crossed her arms. “That doesn’t excuse what you did! We use paper for writing, not walls!”
Sanji rushed over to the bed and grabbed the sheets of paper full of calculations. “We did write it on paper; at least at first, but then we ran out of paper… and we couldn’t leave our room…” Sanji paused and looked down at the floor dejectedly. “So we decided to use the wall. Sorry, Mom. I guess we got a little carried away.”
Alex said somberly, “Yeah, sorry, Mom. You know how easy it is to get swept away by science when you are on the brink of a discovery. Well, Dad does at least.”
Amanda glared at Alex. “Give me every scrap of paper and anything you even think you could use to write with. Then the two of you are to sit on your bed and think about what you have done.”
Sanji shook his head. “But, Mom! We’re so close! Couldn’t you just get us some paper to write on instead?”
Amanda turned her glare onto Sanji. “You will do what you have been told without complaining, Sanji Jordan Godard, and the same goes for you, Alexander Mark Godard. If I hear a peep out of either of you before your father get’s home, you’ll be grounded for a week! And if I hear anything at all related to science, it’ll be a month!”
Alex opened his mouth to reply, but stopped when his mother’s glare rested on him once more. “Do you really want to test me mister?” Alex shook his head and climbed onto his bed. Amanda walked out of the room with a handful of paper and pencils, pens, and markers. These boys of hers were really going to send her to an early grave. What was she supposed to do? Could she really scold them for doing something academic? She sighed. She wished all she had to deal with was the boys starting their pet on fire or jumping off of the roof like Kerry’s kids. At least she would know how to deal with that sort of behavior.
Alfred Godard’s pen filled his office with a scratching sound, leaving a sting of formulas and calculations behind on the sheet of paper sitting on his desk. He smiled as row after row of calculations appeared on the page before him. This approach was looking very promising, he had never made it this far with his theory. His pen stopped moving and his smile turned into a frown. This theory wasn’t going to work either.
He tore the piece of paper out of his notebook, crumpled it up, and threw it at the full trash can sitting by the wall. It bounced out and landed on the floor amid a pile of others. He covered his eyes with his hands and took a deep breath. Every time he thought he was getting close to a breakthrough, he hit a wall.
Ten years ago, when he was a senior in college, he had discovered a way to bond inorganic matter with organic matter, and he had spent the last ten years struggling to find a way to apply his theory to other fields of scientific study in a positive way. It didn’t matter what field he was working with, he always ended up running into the same result; something was missing that prevented it from fully working. That was why he spent so much of his time traveling and giving lectures on his theory; perhaps some other scientist out there would have the answers to his problem and together they could make the world a better place.
The red light on his answering machine was blinking; he had at least one message waiting for him on the machine. If he had to guess, at least one of them would be from the military trying to convince him to find an application to make human weapons for them. Alfred sighed; the military had some brilliant scientists in their ranks, and if Alfred worked with them, they could change the world. Unfortunately they were only interested in weapons, and he refused to make anything like that. Science existed to make this world a better place, to create advances that would improve people’s lives, not discover new ways to take them.
A man with greying hair at his temples walked into Alfred’s office and looked at the piles of crumpled paper littering the floor. “You know, I offered to get a whiteboard brought in here for you. It sure would save us money on all that paper that you seem to go through on a daily basis.”
A smile cracked Alfred’s face. “The only problem is that instead of paper I would be going through markers, and those are a bit more expensive. Besides, getting hit by one of those would hurt more than a crumpled up sheet of paper. I don’t think you came up here to complain about operating costs, Dad.”
Mark Godard smiled back at his son. “That’s the old Godard intuition for you. You got another invitation in the mail today.” Mark held out an envelope with the seal of Leforn University stamped on it.
Alfred accepted the envelope and scanned over it’s contents. “Of course I will attend, it’s only a question of when. I don’t have anything scheduled here for the eleventh, do I?”
Mark pulled his phone out of his back pocket and slid his finger around the screen. “No; I don’t have you down for anything.”
Alfred nodded his head. “Excellent. I have a good feeling about this, Leforn University is where this all started, and it could be the place where I finally find someone that can help me break through the walls I keep running into.”
Mark sat down on the corner of Alfred’s desk. “Are you going to be taking those boys of yours along?”
Alfred smiled. “Of course they will be coming along with me, a man couldn’t ask for two better assistants.” His smile turned into a frown. “Sometimes I think that they have already surpassed me. I just wish I was as smart as you, or grandpa Jordan. The world revolves around what the two of you do.”
Mark shook his head. “Don’t sell yourself short, son. Your grandfather and I have worked on improving things that already existed, you are going off on your own into biochem, a field that neither of us have ever had any success with. In my opinion, you are the greatest of us Godards, and I’m certain that you will get your theory to work, and it’s going to revolutionize this world. I just can’t wait to see what wonders your children are going to unleash on this world. They are truly gifted.”
Alfred nodded his head. “Yes; they certainly are. It seems like the men of our family grow more and more brilliant with each passing generation. I can’t imagine what the future will be like if things continue to follow this trend.”
“It’s hard to believe how much things have changed since your great, great grandfather Agonel Godard started his work. It was because of him and his research that there are so many people with powers in this world, and that robotics have reached the point that they have. His research into H energy was brilliant, if unpractical. If we had more super powered H energy people walking around, this entire world could run off of their energy.”
Alfred looked at his father strangely. “That may be true, but I think his work with robotics is far more praiseworthy. I know that Grandpa Jordan always says that the suits that he used to fight alongside the Super Morpher were inspired by his work.”
Mark smiled and shook his head. “Don’t get me started on my father’s accomplishments. He started out as a chemistry genius, and through his work with Dr. Mechanique, he gained an understanding of robotics and machinery that hasn’t been equaled to this day. Not to mention that he founded Godard Labs. It’s not exactly easy to grow up trying to compare yourself to someone with accomplishments like that.”
Alfred stared at his father. “It wasn’t exactly easy growing up in your shadow either. You founded the KOTC and the TOTC growing up. The city never knew a safer time than your childhood.”
A faraway look came over Mark’s eyes as he smiled fondly. “Ah, yes. Those were some great days. Have you ever considered letting Sanji and Alex resurrect the idea, and start a detective agency of their own?”
Alfred shook his head. “No, I think they are a little young for that, Dad. Besides, they don’t seem to have much of an interest in that sort of thing. They would rather work on figuring out the chemical formula for every household product that they can find then play with their friends. I think that Amanda and I are going to try and keep them more academic than you were when you grew up. You put yourself into a lot of dangerous positions growing up. Especially when you became part of the Elementals.”
Mark frowned. “That wasn’t my choice; that power was thrust upon me.”
Alfred held up his hands defensively. “I’m not saying that it was a bad thing, in fact you have managed to keep our country safe for decades with your abilities, and you still have time to run Godard Labs. Not only that, the labs have expanded and grown into what it is today under your guidance. You are an incredibly accomplished individual.”
Mark rolled his eyes. “I think that’s enough back-patting for one afternoon. I have some test results to go over; give me a hollar if you need anything.” Mark got off of Alfred’s desk and walked out of the office.
Amanda turned when she heard the front door open with a smile on her face. Alfred stepped through the door and Amanda dried off her hands and walked over to give Alfred a hug. “How was your day, dear?”
Alfred returned her hug. “It was pretty good. I got another invitation to give a lecture at Leforn University on the eleventh.”
Amanda gave her husband an extra squeeze. “That’s great news, dear. I’m sure that the boys will be excited to help you with another presentation.” Amanda’s smile was replaced with a frown. “Which reminds me; I got a call today saying that the boys had disrupted their class again.”
Alfred sighed and shook his head. “Those poor boys. I remember what it was like growing up and being smarter than my teachers. We really should try to get them into a learning environment that would challenge them. Perhaps my father would be interested in homeschooling them? At least we know that they would be properly challenged.”
Amanda shook her head. “I don’t think that’s such a good idea, Alfred. Your father is a very busy man between running the lab and the work he does with the government. I’m afraid that the boys would get neglected. Besides, I know first hand how much you smart types need to learn how to interact with others. Being in school will help their social skills.”
Alfred paused for a moment before nodding his head. “I believe you are correct, dear. Perhaps we could talk to the school about getting them into more advanced classes, perhaps some precollege ones?”
Amanda shook her head. “I think that would be almost as bad for their social skills as homeschooling would be. What high schooler or college student would want to hang around with children?”
Alfred shrugged. “I don’t know, but we have to do something.”
Amanda sighed, “That reminds me, your boys have been writing on the walls of their bedroom.”
Alfred frowned. “What were they writing?”
“They were working on some sort of equation or formula. Can you believe they said they were doing it because they ran out of paper?”
Alfred frowned, “This is why I wanted to put whiteboards up in their room.”
Amanda threw her hands up in the air. “We already have whiteboards hung up in the study for you and them to work on. That’s not the point; they were already on timeout when they did it. They should have been reflecting on what they did, not doodling! I had to take all the paper and writing utensils away from them.”
Alfred nodded his head. “I see, that is a bit of a different situation. I don’t suppose that you still have the papers that you took away from them, do you?”
Amanda nodded her head. “They’re sitting on the counter over there. Why?”
Alfred picked up the papers and started to scan them. “I’m just curious to see what they were working on. So that I know for when I go up to have a talk with them.” Excitement filled Alfred’s face as he flipped the page over he was looking at.
Amanda looked at her husband skeptically. “Uh-huh. I’m sure that’s the real reason. Supper is ready and we can eat after you go and have a talk with the boys.” She watched Alfred for a reaction, and saw him switch to another page instead. “Are you listening to me any more? Alfred!”
Alfred looked up startled. “What’s that, dear? Supper is ready once I get done talking with the boys? I’ll just go and have a chat with them right now then. This is so exciting! The boys may have found a way to use my formula to help promote hair growth! I have to go and see if they managed to finish their theory on their walls!”
Alfred bounded for the stairs and hurried up them. Amanda sighed and started setting the table. Now she understood where her children get their behavior from.
Alfred stood outside of his children’s bedroom trying to get his excitement under control. If he went in and started praising them for their formula written on the wall, they might not listen to him about the lesson he needed to teach them later. Once he was calm, he put a stern look on his face, and opened the door to the bedroom.
Sanji and Alex were lying on their beds staring up at the ceiling. Alfred cleared his throat and said, “I understand you boys disrupted your class again.”
Alex sat up on his bed. “It’s not our fault, Dad. The teacher asked the class a question, and we were simply answering it fully and completely. We couldn’t leave the class with a half explanation, could we? That wouldn’t have benefited anyone.”
Alfred shook his head. “You boys need to respect your teacher. During the day she is in charge of you.”
Sanji sneered. “I can’t respect Mrs. Rothum. She’s a fool and gets angry whenever anyone tries to actually learn anything. How could we possibly respect her?”
Alfred frowned at his son. “I thought I raised you boys better than that. You know that the Bible says to respect those in authority over you.” Sanji looked down at the ground in shame. Alfred continued on more gently. “You are right about her not challenging you academically, though. Your mother and I are going to look into trying to get you boys into more challenging classes. I think that should help you to respect you teachers a little more.”
Alex and Sanji smiled back at their father. “That sounds great, Dad! Maybe we could take some college classes!”
Alfred smiled and held up his hands. “Let’s not get so hasty. I’m not sure you are prepared for that level of work just yet.” His eyes scanned over the formula written on their walls. This was impressive work. If what he was seeing was correct, the boys had almost finished their formula. He forced himself to frown and shake his head. There would be time for praising them later. “Your mother told me that you had been writing on the walls, she didn’t tell me that it was this much. You should know better than to do something like this.”
Sanji looked away again. “We wanted to make something amazing for you, Dad. We thought that maybe if we could develope this formula, then you would let us leave school and come work with you. We ran out of paper though, and couldn’t go get more because we were on time out, and we knew we were close to finishing. Sorry.”
Alfred nodded his head. “This is a lesson that I’m going to have to work harder at teaching you two; just because you are brilliant doesn’t mean that the rules don’t apply to you.” The boys looked away ashamed and nodded their heads. “But for now, I think we should all go down and enjoy the wonderful supper that your Mother has prepared for us. After supper we’ll copy down your notes from your wall, and then you boys are going to wash it all off. If you have time before bed, maybe we can work on finishing it together.”
Sanji and Alex bounced on their bed. Sanji smiled. “That sounds awesome! I’m going to clean the walls super fast!”
Alex nodded his head. “Yeah, we get to work on a problem with Dad!” The boys jumped off of their beds and ran for the door. “Come on, Dad, we have to eat supper quick!”
Alfred smiled to himself and followed his sons out the door. At least he knew how to motivate them.
Sanji shoveled a spoonful of soup into his mouth and immediately spit it out and started coughing. Amanda looked at Sanji in concern. “The soup is hot, Sanji. You need to blow on it first. What’s the big rush anyway?”
Alex answered for his brother. “Dad says that after supper we need to go and wash the writing off of our walls, and if we get done early enough, we can work on finishing our formula with him tonight.”
Amanda looked slyly at Alfred and he shrugged. “That sounds like fun, but you two need to slow down and take your time. If you choke then you won’t get to work with your father at all. Alfred, did you tell the boys about your big surprise you got at work today?”
The boys looked expectantly at Alfred and he smacked himself in the forehead. “How could I have forgotten to mention that I was invited to give another lecture at Leforn University? I told them that I would like to come and do one, but I can’t do it without my two assistants, but they have been misbehaving lately. I can’t give a presentation with naughty assistants, can I?”
Sanji looked pleadingly at his father. “Please let us go, we’ll be good; I promise!”
Alex nodded his head. “Yeah, we’ll even take Mrs. Rothum an apple to say we’re sorry! Please let us go!”
Alfred nodded his head. “I suppose that I could tell them to expect me, but you two had better be on your best behavior until then. No more drawing on the walls or arguing with your teacher, understood?”
Sanji gave his father his most angelic look. “We’ll be the best kids that you ever saw, Dad!”
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more stories like it, check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page for updates on the stories here: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to see a summary of Rebellion on Aquore, as well as a sneak peek at what will happen in the next chapter. Then come back on Monday when I will post part of one the eighth chapter of Rebellion on Aquore, and check out my newly published book, The Kids on the Case.